Trimble's SketchUp Viewer marks first commercial app for HoloLens in the Windows Store

Reading time icon 3 min. read

Readers help support MSPoweruser. When you make a purchase using links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Tooltip Icon

Read the affiliate disclosure page to find out how can you help MSPoweruser effortlessly and without spending any money. Read more

Microsoft has announced that their partner, design and engineering tool firm Trimble, is launching the first commercial application for the HoloLens in the Windows Store.

The announcement was made at Trimble Dimensions in Las Vegas, alongside Trimble CEO Steve Berglund and prominent architect Greg Lynn.

Trimble’s SketchUp Viewer is the first  extensible app that any company in Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO) industries can use right away, and allows companies to let their designers and clients get fully immersed in what they are creating, giving users the ability to walk around inside a project, untethered, in real world scale. The app displaces the need to build physical scale models; and the collaboration features allow users to view models simultaneously whether collocated or remotely located.

SketchUp is a widely used platform for 3D modeling and design used by tens of millions of AECO professionals. SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens adopts mixed reality and extends the value and investment already made in 3D modeling with SketchUp.

With this new solution, Trimble is taking 3D modeling as part of the design and construction process further and into what they call experiential review. SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens allows people to inhabit their designs in the most natural way possible – either as a holographic scale model on a tabletop, or through an immersive experience from within a digital building model. Viewing models in this way will enable designers to better understand the choices and tradeoffs in their projects, which can help shorten the cycle between design iterations and improve communication and collaboration across project stakeholders who participate in mixed reality experiences.

The SketchUp Viewer is an entirely new version designed for mixed reality and unlike the older version also allows users to create models.

The software has already been used as part of the 2016 Venice Biennale architecture exhibition. Then Trimble and HoloLens partnered to enable architect Greg Lynn to use SketchUp Viewer to envision a drastic re-design of the Packard plant in Detroit that has been abandoned for half a century.

SketchUp Viewer allowed Greg to cost-effectively visualize and navigate a holographic representation of the Packard Plant from the convenience of his work space in Venice Beach, California.

“Microsoft HoloLens and Trimble’s SketchUp Viewer have completely revolutionized the way I work,” says Lynn. “It actually changes the way you think about design and is an absolutely new way to experience architecture in a mode not previously possible.”

The technology is already being used by some of the world’s largest commercial AEC companies like, AECOM, CallisonRTKL, Gensler and Hensel Phelps as well as other pioneering design and construction firms and also enabled smaller companies to take part in the mixed reality revolution at an affordable entry point.

You can download the app here from Windows Store.

See a video demonstrating the technology below:

[appbox windowsstore 9nblggh4338q]

More about the topics: microsoft, sketchup viewer, Trimble